Monday, April 27, 2009


I gave my girls an assignment this morning to read about certain OT women, and write about the example they set.  Abigail's story is found in 1 Samuel 25, where we read that she was married to a churlish, foolish man named Nabal (whose name actually means "fool").  

David's men had been in the wilderness, but they weren't just laying about.  They were actively protecting the shepherds and the flocks from marauders.

So, when it came time for the sheep-shearing feast, David naturally assumed that the owner of the flocks he had been protecting for quite some time would be grateful enough to show his appreciation for their work by granting them some of the produce.  This was a normal cultural practice.  It was expected.

But instead of doing the right thing, instead of showing appreciation, Nabal did the opposite.  He refused to offer any food, and on top of that, he spoke in a derogatory manner about David being the son of Jesse, thereby incurring David's wrath.

David was a man of war, and he had every intention of going after Nabal and every male under him.  This he set out to do.

 Abigail was discerning and beautiful.  God gave her the gift of discernment, which means she knew right from wrong.  She understood that Nabal was wrong to not provide food to David's men.  It was the custom, and it should have been done in payment for protection from thieves and robbers.

When Abigail was told of David's plan, she worked quickly.  She didn't take a lot of time, but "made haste" and gathered a lot of food.  She was a quick thinker, and a fast worker.

She managed her household well.  Her young men obeyed her and went ahead with the donkeys, laden with food.

"She did not tell her husband Nabal."  This indicates that Abigail was wise.  There is a time to speak, and a time to be silent.  When dealing with a foolish man, especially one who is drunk, it is wise to wait and speak later.  

She rode.  That means, she was physically fit and skilled enough to ride down a mountain!

She hurried to meet David.  She fell on her face, she bowed before David.  She was HUMBLE.  She lowered herself in order to soften David's heart.  If she had approached David in a proud or angry manner, he would not have been willing to listen.  There is a time to be humble.  We ought not to be quick to fight.  The words of her plea are wise:

“On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord  is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord  taking vengeance himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

First, she humbles herself and takes responsibility for the actions of her foolish husband.  She speaks truthfully about Nabal, but reminds David that he's not worth the trouble.  She says that if she had known of the request, she surely would have honoured it, and she gives glory to God for restraining David from bloodguilt, urging him to accept the gift and praise the Lord with her.  A wise word from a wise lady.

She also acknowledges that God is with David.  Her gift of discernment has given her the ability to see that God is protecting David, and that some day David will be "prince over Israel".  And when that day comes, she pleads, "remember your servant".

God blessed Abigail with beauty and discernment, with wisdom and skill, with action and humilty.  When she told Nabal what she had done, his heart was like a stone, and he died 10 days later.  In that culture, Abigail would have been left without provision - Nabal was not a wise man.  However, God provided through His servant David, who sent word to Abigail that he would marry her.

And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

She did not question God's will.  She hurried.  She went and became David's wife.

When our lives take a sudden turn for the worse, when calamities come and fear and dread set in, how do we react?  Are we like Abigail?  Wise, discerning Abigail?  Do we trust the Living God to provide our every need?  Do we do what we can, and trust God for the rest?

Oh, Lord, make us more like Abigail.


  1. This is a wonderful post, thank you! I haven't thought of the story of Abagail in a long time. Oh what great examples to us were these biblical women!

  2. Janet,
    It has been awhile since I visited the life story of Abigail. But it is one that effected me enough to pass her name onto my daughter! Good post!


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